Disturbing the waters is an inevitable outcome when you go within to find new ways of performing. Over the last few weeks we have trained well. The question would be is it World class or just good training. We have worked to create a perturbation of the way we combine, think, train, prepare, row and live. Yep sounds dramatic doesn’t it. Well, sort of as we have challenged ourselves to just get on with the job of being the best unit we can given where we are and who is involved.
Some simple questions have been posed. Time spent sharing and discussing various elements of who we are, what we need and what we are aiming for. Data is being gathered constantly and yet we have worked to honor our feelings and the subjectivity of the experience. We have committed more time together. We have planned and continue to do so. We are part of a process and journey we are all excited about. We have identified words to describe how it feels when we row and how we want it to feel on a day in the future. We have laughed, talked shit and made jokes in bad taste. We have watched videos of our training and videos with humor. I think we can inspire each other and work well together. All this is a big part of why we row.
The disturbing part is we need to and must continue to go deeper. To explore who we are individually and collectively. This has no bearing on age of experience. We each must ensure we increase awareness of our strengths, challenges, blind spots and those we are working with. This all involves us as athletes and our coach.
A question I have been considering is how fast do we want to go?
To go faster than ever before requires us to make waves. To stir the pot and to see what needs to be found. We need to work out what needs to be left behind also and cut away any baggage. Streamlining is essential but before we stream line we much gorge ourselves on questions, discussions, ideas and thoughts. Once we have done all this then we can pin point the essentials and follow up on the critical. We are trying to expose ourselves and be comfortable with being vulnerable. Our advantage is we have nothing to loose.
Even this last week while training at Penrith I found myself reminded during a time trial that it’s about taking risks. About putting it on the line. I found after some 3min I was thinking this is going to hurt like hell. So while the obvious was clear I figured it better to take charge and straddle the bull rather that hold back in any way. After 6min it was even clearer as my chest was tight and movement coordination starting to suffer that the back end would require a strong resolve. The focus was basic. Keep moving. Keep pressing. Keep sliding.
The specifics of a performance or an effort are not needed here as the above relates just as much to the session I was in as pretty much most sessions we are doing. It’s was a 5k time trial with no reason but our own to be tested. Actually rowing has become just that. It’s a way to test, learn, try, find and explore. These are the things I am loving and enjoying. The act of rowing is important but it’s the experience that comes with doing the act. The experience that comes from imagining it, planning it, doing it and reflecting on it. It’s not just rowing, it’s surreal. Making waves is all part of it and the perturbations needed.
Now to the future. Much is being made of what we are trying to build as a four. Much is being made of our competitions from distant shoes. To create success we will continue to make waves in our own waters with the sense that in time we will be required to make waves in others waters. This is the reality and we are doing what we can to make the biggest and best of the experience.
Unfortunately selection is not complete and while it’s open we must not loss sight of the more immediate need to perform here and find our place amongst our own team.
A few challenges have been seeing some great athlete side lined or not included. I refer to even the wider team. We must all prove ourselves and be given opportunities to stand out. Our four has been a case of narrowing down the people. Performance has been critical and yet great athletes have not been included after certain point. Focuses have been set and athletes targeted. Complimenting movements, skills, attributes and consistency have all played a part in the process. I know some very talented people are on different pathways. This I accept and we have contained to find ours.
Not to be vague here its just tough finding words to describe the process we are going through. All athletes want for something. Some times the something’s aren’t the same. The needs are often different. One things for sure though the lure of the games is as strong as ever. For me the games is about the ultimate performance opportunity. If no event where on in 6months time I would still be doing much of the same as I am doing now. Finding how to be the best I can be with a small group of like minded people to create success from what we define as important.